I wanted to make an authentic but easy bean dish, but it had to get it’s flavor from vegetarian sources, since I’m getting ready to cook vegetarian Mexican food this weekend for some friends. The good news is my friends are Indian so they like spicy food, but I wanted to create a recipe everyone else could enjoy as well.
It’s easy to get flavor from bacon. It’s not always that easy to get it from vegetables in a bean dish, where the bean flavor can be overpowering. I decided to try making a sort-of Sofrito to lend flavor to the beans, and to use canned fire-roasted tomatoes. Fire-roasted for the flavor and canned for the ease and the freshness of the tomatoes. This combination worked out very well for me. The beans were flavorful and creamy thanks to the pressure cooker, and flavorful with all the vegetables. I don’t think you’re meant to be drinking these beans as though they were soup, but I suspect I’ll be doing that. So flavorful! I need to freeze some for the lunch with my friends before I eat too many of those.
So the steps to this recipe are:
- Soak the beans
- Make the sofrito by chopping up all the veggies
- Add sofrito, beans, tomatoes and water
- Cook at HP 30 mins, 10 mins NPR, and then QPR. Done!
- 1 c dried pinto beans + hot water for soaking
- 1 14-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped onion fine
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ½ c cilantro chopped fine
- ½ green bell pepper chopped fine
- 1-2 tsp powdered cumin
- 1-2 tsp salt
- 2.5 c water
- Soak pinto beans in hot water for 1 hour (quick soak).
- Meanwhile chop and combine tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro and spices.
- Add the soaked pinto beans and 3 cups of water
- Pressure cook for 30 minutes at high pressure using natural release for 10 mins and then quick pressure release. Inhale the wonderful, layered aroma of the sofrito and beans. My house smells wonderful as I'm typing this for you.
- This step is optional but I used an immersion blender for 10 seconds to mash some of the means and get a little extra thickness into the broth.
- The end result is a flavorful, rich broth with creamy beans in it. Perfect for serving with a little arroz a la Mexicana, or eating it by itself as soup.